Why does my tongue have a crack down the middle?

This blogpost will answer the question why does my tongue have a crack down the middle? And will include the following topics: What Does a Healthy Tongue Look Like?

What Is a Fissured Tongue?

Characteristics of Fissured Tongue

Symptoms of fissured tongue

Causes of fissured tongue

Conditions associated with fissured tongue

How fissured tongue is treated

Complications of fissured tongue

When to see a doctor

Preventing Future Cracked Tongue Issues

Why does my tongue have a crack down the middle?

A cracked tongue is also known as a fissured tongue. The grooves are commonly located in the middle part of the dorsal (top) section of the organ and can be shallow or deep.

What Is a Fissured Tongue?

Fissured tongue is a non-cancerous disorder that affects the upper surface of the tongue. The length of a typical tongue is rather flat. A fissured tongue is distinguished by a deep, noticeable groove in the middle.

Small furrows or cracks across the surface may also be present, giving the tongue a wrinkled look. One or more cracks of differing diameters and depths may exist. This ailment can appear in childhood, but the wrinkles and fractures tend to grow as you become older. A fissured tongue becomes increasingly frequent as we age, especially in elderly persons who suffer from dry mouth.

Characteristics of Fissured Tongue

These are the characteristics of a fissured tongue:

Cracks, grooves, or clefts appear on the top and sides of the tongue.

These fissures only affect your tongue.

Fissures on the tongue vary in depth, but they may be as deep as 6 millimetres.

Grooves may connect with other grooves, separating the tongue into small lobes or sections.

Unless debris builds up in these fissures, you are unlikely to have any symptoms.

Childhood is when fissures may initially appear. Adults, on the other hand, are more likely to develop fissures. Furthermore, just as wrinkles can deepen with age, fissures can become more noticeable as well. Your dentist has most likely seen the cracks on your tongue if you undergo frequent dental checkups. The majority of cracks are discovered in this way.

Symptoms of fissured tongue

A fissured tongue can give the impression of being split in two lengthwise. There are also situations when there are many fissures. It’s also possible that your tongue is cracked.

The tongue’s deep groove is generally highly evident. Your doctors and dentists will have an easier time diagnosing the problem as a result of this. The centre region of the tongue is most commonly afflicted, however other sections of the tongue may also have fissures.

Along with a fissured tongue, you may develop a benign tongue anomaly known as geographic tongue.

The papillae are small pinkish-white lumps that cover a normal tongue. Geographic tongue is characterised by a lack of papillae in various locations of the tongue. The spots that don’t contain papillae are smooth and crimson, with slightly elevated edges.

Fissured tongue and geographic tongue are neither infectious or hazardous, and neither disease generally causes any symptoms. Some people, on the other hand, have reported pain and increased sensitivity to specific drugs.

Causes of fissured tongue

The exact reason for the fissured tongue has yet to be identified by researchers. Because it’s commonly detected in larger proportions within families, the condition might be inherited. A distinct underlying issue might be the cause of a fissured tongue.

Many people believe that a fissured tongue is just a variant of a regular tongue.

Fissured tongue symptoms can emerge as early as childhood, but as you get older, the symptoms grow more severe and noticeable.

Fissured tongue is significantly more common in males than in women, and older persons with dry mouth have more severe symptoms.

Conditions associated with fissured tongue

Fissured tongue is linked to a number of conditions, including Down syndrome and Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome.

Down syndrome, commonly known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder that can result in a wide range of physical and mental disabilities. Down syndrome patients have three copies of chromosome 21 rather than two.

Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is a neurological disorder marked by a fissured tongue, facial enlargement and upper lip swelling, and Bell’s palsy, a kind of facial paralysis.

In rare cases, fissured tongue is also associated with certain conditions, including:

malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies


orofacial granulomatosis, a rare condition that causes swelling in the lips, mouth, and area around the mouth.

How fissured tongue is treated

Treatment for a fissured tongue is usually unnecessary. It often has no symptoms, and a person may not be aware that they have it until a dentist detects it during a normal checkup.

Food or other debris becoming lodged in the grooves of a fissured tongue can cause complications. If this occurs, it may irritate the skin or allow bacteria to thrive. The germs that become trapped in the crevices can cause foul breath and tooth decay.

Candida albicans may infect quite deep grooves in severe circumstances. Anyone who gets this issue will need to use a topical antifungal medicine to treat it.

The best prevention against fissured tongue is to practice proper oral hygiene, including cleaning of the mouth at least twice a day and regular visits to the dentist.


Bacteria or fungus, such as Candida albicans, can thrive in the grooves of a split tongue, resulting in an infection.

A doctor can prescribe a topical antifungal drug to treat a Candida, or yeast, infection. People with geographic tongues and those who do not brush or otherwise clean their tongues are more likely to get this illness.

It is critical for anybody with a cracked tongue to maintain appropriate dental hygiene, which includes seeing the dentist on a regular basis.

When to see a doctor

If food becomes trapped in the grooves of a split tongue, germs or yeast can grow and cause an infection or other oral health problems.

Anyone who has a cracked tongue and is experiencing signs of an oral health concern should see a doctor.

Overall, seeing a dentist on a frequent basis is a good decision.

Preventing Future Cracked Tongue Issues

Here are ways to help prevent the development of a cracked tongue:

Eat a balanced diet. A combination of proteins, vegetables, grains, fruits, and nuts is required. Vitamins, zinc, and iron-rich foods can help you enhance your dental health.

Maintain proper dental hygiene. Taking the time to brush your teeth, gums, and tongue will help you maintain better oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day is recommended by dentists.

Scrape the back of your tongue. This prevents tiny food particles from accumulating in your mouth, which can contribute to bacterial overgrowth.

Drinks and meals that are spicy should be avoided. This is especially true if you’re already aware of your proclivity towards cracked tongue.

Eat at a cooler temperature. If you’re served a hot dish, wait until it cools down before diving in.

Should You Be Worried if You See Fissures?

When you glance in the mirror and find some little deep cracks on the surface of your tongue, they are probably nothing to be concerned about. There is usually no discomfort connected with the illness, and it is also not communicable. However, we always urge that you see your dentist, as they will be able to diagnose your fissured tongue and set your mind at ease.

It’s essential to clean your tongue at least once a day since the deeper grooves can accumulate more germs, fungus species, and food particles. The only fissured tongue therapy you actually need to do is stick to your strict oral hygiene practises. It’s critical to add tongue washing into your oral hygiene practises. You probably already wash your teeth twice a day and floss, use a water flosser, or use another interdental cleaning equipment once a day to clean between your teeth. You may now use a tongue scraper as a mild cleaning instrument before or after brushing your teeth as part of your daily practice. In addition, good dental hygiene minimises the risk of bad breath caused by bacteria growing on your tongue. So keeping your tongue as clean as possible is a win-win situation!

Frequently asked question (FAQs)

What does a split down your tongue mean?

A split down can mean you have a fissured tongue.Fissured tongue is a non-cancerous disorder that affects the upper surface of the tongue. A fissured tongue is distinguished by a deep, noticeable groove in the middle.

How do you get rid of a cracked tongue?

There is no specific treatment for a cracked tongue.Treatment for a fissured tongue is usually unnecessary. It often has no symptoms. But it is necessary to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent any sort of future infections.

Can a fissured tongue heal itself?

Fissured tongue is a harmless condition and often heals on itself.

How do I stop my tongue from cracking?

Fissured tongue is a benign condition that has no specific cause so you cannot stop it.

Can dehydration cause cracked tongue?

No, dehydration does not cause cracked tongue.

Other FAQs about Tongue Health that you may be interested in.

Why do I keep biting my tongue in my sleep?

What does black spots on the tongue mean?

How to stop biting tongue while sleeping?

Can your tongue grow back?

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